Aquaship expects strong growth in revenue and profit

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Driven by acquisitions, the wellboat company’s top line increased by 177.5 per-cent from 2018 to 2019. Growth is expected to continue for at least four years to come.

The fast-growing shipping company has posted a EUR 10 million net cash flow from operating activities last year.

“The board and the CEO are satisfied with the performance development and believe liquidity is satisfactory,” the company’s annual report stated.

The CEO and the company’s second-largest shareholder, Sverre Taknes, was also awarded an annual salary of EUR 224,000 for his work in 2019.

The outlook for years to come looks promising, it was made clear in the annual report.

Volume growth
“Future development depends on, among other things, future volume growth in salmon farming and not least other sea-based farmed species. Aquaship group has several exciting projects underway and the forecasts in the company’s business plan from 2020-2024 show a significant increase in revenue and EBITDA,” wrote Aquaship.

Of a total balance of EUR 190 million, equity is 46 per-cent.

While the parent company is based in Kristiansund, Norway, the group also has offices in Førde, Puerto Varas in Chile, and Vidlin in Shetland, Scotland. The parent company, which was founded in 2018, operates as a management company for its four subsidiaries Aquaship Holding, Johnson Marine, Aquaship Salmon Star and Aquaship Salmon Star II, where the latter two were acquired in the autumn of 2019.

AquaShip has a large fleet, totalling 28 vessels. The recognised value of the fleet was EUR 125 million at the end of the year. The company stated in its annual report that it has a wellboat, “Aqua Caledonia”, under construction at the Balenciaga shipyard in Spain. Expected delivery of that vessel will be in 2021.

Rates in Chile
Although most of the business takes place in northern Europe, the company also has wellboat activity in Chile. Since Chile does not allow foreign actors to control shipping companies in coastal shipping, Aquaship has chosen a rather creative method to deal with this:

“Its subsidiary GripShip AS owns 49 per-cent of the shares in Naviera Beagle SpA, Naviera Kaweskar SpA, and Inversione’s Austral SpA located in Purto Montt, Chile. Naviera Beagle SpA and Naviera Keweskar SpA operate wellboat operations. The sole business in Inversione’s Austral SpA is to own 51 per-cent of the shares in GripShip SpA, Puerto Montt, which operates wellboat operations in Chile. The remaining 49 per-cent of the shares in GripShip SpA are owned by GripShip Service AS which is 100 per-cent owned by Grip Ship AS,” it was stated in Aquaship ‘s annual report.

AquaShip is controlled, with 51 per-cent of the shares, by the US private equity fund AMERRA Capital, which bought a majority stake last autumn.

AquaShip had not replied to SalmonBusiness’ request for comment.